India reviews production incentive scheme amid overhaul push – source

By Shivangi Acharya

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s top bureaucrat reviewed a production-linked incentive scheme on Thursday amid a push from industry for faster payouts to improve the programme that aims to boost investment in manufacturing, a government official said.

The scheme is crucial to boosting the broader Indian economy which has been starved of private investment for nearly a decade and is struggling to create adequate jobs, particularly in manufacturing.

The $24 billion scheme, launched in 2020, covers 14 sectors ranging from electronic products to pharmaceutical drugs, but has so far only been successful in a handful of those.

The meeting, headed by India’s cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, covered sectors that are performing well under the scheme and another meeting, on sectors that have not yet “taken off” will be arranged soon, the official told reporters.

The official did not wish to be named as details of these review meetings have not been made public.

Total incentives worth 34.20 billion rupees ($413.29 million) have been claimed up to March this year. Little has been paid out to businesses in six sectors including speciality steel products, solar modules, and car components, according to a government report seen by Reuters.

As part of the ongoing review, the government in June met large global firms such as Foxconn, Samsung Electronics Wistron, and Reliance Industries, and others that stand to benefit from the scheme’s incentive payouts.

Suggestions from those keen on securing incentives under the scheme include quicker payouts against claims, the government official said.

“In some cases, manufacturers have sought faster approval to visa applications of their vendors from China for instance, in cases where such expertise is required for local production to pick up,” the official added.

The program had drawn investments totalling 625 billion rupees up to March, and investments are expected to rise further to 2.74 trillion rupees as the program runs its course, according to government estimates.

So far, most investments and incentives have come in large-scale electronics manufacturing, pharmaceutical drugs production, medical devices, bulk drugs, telecom products, food products, drone and drone components, the government report said.

(Reporting by Shivangi Acharya; Editing by Alison Williams)